Chelsea Are Better Off Without Didier Drogba

Tim YuSenior Analyst IMay 24, 2008

A red card in the UEFA Champions League final.

It's a verdict that not many footballers will ever live down in their careers, but for Didier Drogba, there couldn't have been a more just punishment to end his season with.

After taking a conniving slap at Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic, the Ivorian walked off the field, perhaps for the last time in Chelsea colors, knowing that his actions of selfishness epitomized everything that had gone wrong in the past year.

From the internal squabbling to the constant grumblings of disapproval from fans, everybody knew that Chelsea were no longer the dominant force that took the Premier League by storm under Jose Mourinho. Outsider influences, from the upper management to the media, had finally gotten to Chelsea Football Club under their newly appointed manager Avram Grant.

But these some of these developments had always been at the club, even while Mourinho was still in charge of the club. The same thoughts of egocentricity had always reigned supreme in the eyes of Didier Drogba, for he has always resorted to questionable tactics in order to gain an advantage over his opponent.

His constant diving, rolling around, and playacting in order to get opponents booked speaks volumes about Drogba, not only as a footballer but also as a person.

Always regarded as something of a temperamental from the moment he first put on a Chelsea shirt, his consistent deceitful tactics are something that the English game—and Chelsea—could simply do without.

After all, it's always been something of a mystery as to how a man of Drogba's strength and size could go down as easily as he does. Always complaining about a tiny knock or attempting to embellish a missed tackle for a penalty or a free kick, Drogba's tactics are symbolic of how honesty and fair play have continued to gradually vanish every time a football season comes around again in August.

Despite his theatrics, nobody can ever doubt the 2006/2007 African Player of the Year's undeniable ability as a footballer. Almost perfecting the role as a target man in his four year tenure at Stamford Bridge, there are few strikers in the world that have the pace and skill that Drogba possesses.

There are also few that have complete footballing systems built around them like Drogba has had at Chelsea. Utilizing the 4-3-2-1 formation, previously perfected by Jose Mourinho, Drogba has been the focal point of spearheading Chelsea's attack as his ability to control high balls for link-up play is second to none.

But beyond the initial fee of £23.8 million paid to Marseille in 2004 and shirt incomes that comes through the phenomenon, that is, Didier Drogba, Chelsea Football Club is better off without their Ivorian striker.

The striker has long been noted for wanting a move beyond the confines of London and onto another country for a new challenge; thus, leading Drogba to show a huge lack of professionalism throughout his potential final season as a Chelsea player.

Perhaps, the constant headlines had its role to play in the player's disillusionment of life at Stamford Bridge. Loyalty had always been in question since the moment he put pen to paper back in 2004, but with Jose Mourinho sacked by Roman Abramovich, there were times when Drogba just simply lacked spirit and pride for his club.

Of course, there were also times when his natural ability took over and the quality of his goals were second to none. And there were other times when Drogba looked to take out his frustrations at the others around him. His constant grumblings in the dressing room and about his manager's tactical decisions spurned even more trouble than Chelsea could afford to handle.

Whenever conflict of some sort came his way, he would always look to divert it towards someone else. Because in his mind, there was no player on the pitch more important than Didier Drogba. This was almost certainly the case during Chelsea's crucial Premier League match against Manchester United, which at the time dictated Chelsea's slim hopes of claiming the domestic title.

It was then, in that match where Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack got into a heated argument about who would be the man taking the critical free kick.

Elbows flied, words were exchanged, and even as Chelsea were trying to make their collective bid towards taking the title, Drogba just couldn't drop his pride for the sake of the club.

And even though Chelsea did go onto win the match, ironically through Drogba's heroics, it was indicative of what was about to happen in the later weeks. The spirit that was once there appeared to be broken, and perhaps, one could make the argument that Drogba was at fault for playing a key role in that.

But realistically, all of Drogba's theatrics on-and-off the pitch don't have to matter. After all, Roman Abramovich has the final say on matters and with a hefty sum of cash from Drogba's transfer fee, Chelsea Football Club could be well on their way to coming out on top out of their respective campaigns in England and Europe.

And Chelsea wouldn't be the only ones to benefit.

The English game could use a break from Drogba's melodramatics.


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